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Activation of the Antiviral Kinase PKR and Viral Countermeasures

by Bianca Dauber 1,* and Thorsten Wolff 2,*
Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Alberta, 632 Heritage Medical Research Center, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2S2, Canada
P15, Robert Koch-Institute/Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2009, 1(3), 523-544;
Received: 11 August 2009 / Revised: 26 October 2009 / Accepted: 26 October 2009 / Published: 27 October 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interferon Antiviral Response and Viral Evasion)
The interferon-induced double-stranded (ds)RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) limits viral replication by an eIF2α-mediated block of translation. Although many negative-strand RNA viruses activate PKR, the responsible RNAs have long remained elusive, as dsRNA, the canonical activator of PKR, has not been detected in cells infected with such viruses. In this review we focus on the activating RNA molecules of different virus families, in particular the negative-strand RNA viruses. We discuss the recently identified non-canonical activators 5’-triphosphate RNA and the vRNP of influenza virus and give an update on strategies of selected RNA and DNA viruses to prevent activation of PKR. View Full-Text
Keywords: PKR; virus; dsRNA; innate immunity; immune evasion PKR; virus; dsRNA; innate immunity; immune evasion
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Dauber, B.; Wolff, T. Activation of the Antiviral Kinase PKR and Viral Countermeasures. Viruses 2009, 1, 523-544.

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